Register Your Opinion on TPWD Regulation Changes NOW

| March 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

fly fishing in texas gulf coast #flyfishing

Texas Parks & WIldlifeNOTE – Hey folks, you can actually vote on these and more regulations at the TPWD website – VOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTE , and I strongly suggest you do. Today is the last day to voice your opinion! There are many more regulations to vote on at the website.

As you will read, it appears the flounder changes are for the entire state, while the speckled trout changes are modeled after the Lower Laguna Madre and the success there. So, there does not appear to be any attempt to divide the state regulations geographically along the coast – at this time. I guess TPWD realized the can of worms they would be opening by setting regulation changes for individual regions.

Spotted Seatrout

Proposal:

Expansion of the 5-fish bag and possession limit up the coast to the FM 457 bridge in Sargent, TX. The proposal contains a 5-year sunset provision.

Background:

The proposal reduces the bag and possession limits from 10 to 5 for spotted seatrout from FM 457 in Matagorda County to the Rio Grande River. This is a geographic extension of the regulations established for the lower Laguna Madre in 2007. Results from the 2007 regulations indicate an increase in the number and size of spotted seatrout in the lower Laguna Madre, and similar results are expected for the extended area. Surveys and modeling have indicated landings will be reduced by 13.6%, with an increase in the spawning biomass of 16.4% and a 41.8% increase in the number of spotted seatrout ≥ 25” in length in the extended area. Modeling has indicated a substantial improvement would be possible in a relatively short period of time, with 89% of the effects realized within 3 years, and 99% of the effects realized within 6 years.

Southern Flounder

Proposal:

Extension of the November two-fish bag limit into the first two weeks of December. Harvest during this time can occur by any legal means.

Background:

To provide additional protection during the flounder spawning run the department has determined that measures must be implemented to protect and replenish spawning stock biomass in the fishery. Current harvest regulations for flounder, outside the month of November, consist of a 14-inch minimum size limit and a 5-fish daily bag and possession limit for recreational take and a 30-fish daily bag and possession limit for commercial take. During the month of November all anglers may take two flounder per day by pole-and-line only. The proposed amendment to §65.72 would extend the two fish bag limit into the first two weeks of December. Harvest during this time can occur by any legal means.

Guadalupe River Below Canyon Reservoir (Comal County)

Proposal:

The proposal would change harvest regulations for rainbow and brown trout in a designated section of the river to a 12- to 18-inch slot length limit and a five-fish daily bag limit. Harvest would be by artificial lures only, and only one trout over 18 inches could be retained. The new regulation zone would begin 800 yards downstream from the Canyon Dam release and extend downstream to the easternmost Highway 306 bridge crossing.

Background:

The 4-mile stretch of the Guadalupe River from the outflow of Canyon Dam to the easternmost bridge crossing on Highway 306 has the most consistent, suitable water temperatures (below 70oF) for survival and oversummering of trout. Trout mortality due to above optimal water temperature in this stretch is likely the lowest. Current regulations for this stretch of the Guadalupe River consist of the statewide limits for trout: no minimum length limit and a five-fish daily bag.

A special regulation zone for trout currently begins immediately below the 4-mile stretch. The zone extends from the easternmost FM 306 bridge crossing downstream to the second bridge crossing on the River Road. In this zone, only trout 18 inches and longer may be harvested, and anglers are allowed to harvest one trout per day. Harvest is further restricted in this area to trout caught on artificial lures.

Oversummer survival of trout in the 4-mile stretch downstream from the dam was documented in fall 2011 despite extremely low summer flows (less than 70 cfs in June – August) and record high ambient temperatures. A more-restrictive harvest regulation in this stretch could be used to increase angler catch rates as well as potentially increase size structure of the trout population. The 12-inch lower end of the slot limit would allow harvest of trout stocked by TPWD, as most are below this length. This regulation change would not affect the popular catch-and-keep fishery directly below the dam, which would remain under the statewide limits.

As a member of the Coastal Conservation Association, I will run their letter voicing their opinions on these proposed regulations – this afternoon.

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Category: Causes, Fly Fishing for Trout, Science and Environmental, Texas Gulf Coast, Texas Water Conservation

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